Monday
Apr202015

How To Fix the Push-Up

Above is a video demonstrating some common cues we use for our general population CrossFitters as they execute push-ups. Check it out and see if it helps your athletes move more correctly! We wrote out the cues below, too. 

Sagging Midline

Verbal cues
"Belly-button touches the floor last."
"Lead with your belly-button off the floor." 

Tactile cues
+ Place your hand on their lumbar vertebra and ask them to "Lead here" as they come up.
+ If your athlete has been doing push-ups with a soft midline they will say this version feels harder. Say "Good!" 

Sagging Neck/Shoulders

Verbal cues
+ Getting your athlete oriented vertically and having them experience the sensation of trying to be taller with good posture is a much more readily available sensation most people can quickly organize. Set that as the default position to think about before getting into a prone orientation. "Get long" or "get tall" could encorage this while doing push-ups.

+
Initially explain that they need to keep their chin and nose behind the wall on the way down. I find that specifically mentioning to push their chin and nose back prevents cervical overextenion which many would otherwise default to. "head back" or something similar would work as a briefer cue once they get the concept.

Tactile cues
From a kneeling or standing position, use your arm or PVC to create a line from their sternum up to their nose and have them imagine saying behind it on the way down.

If they're too weak to organize this, you may want to elevate them. More on that later

Monday
Mar162015

Why Your Gym Should Program Rest Days

Any effective strength and conditioning programming has to account for work-to-rest ratio in order to manage stress and allow the body to adapt to training. CrossFit often teaches the three-on/one-off template, as well as the five-on/two-off template. At CrossFit South Brooklyn, way back in 2008, we started using a three-on/one-off, two-on/one-off template, which has worked extremely well for us. This schedule allows our athletes to train at high intensities throughout the week while not overextending themselves, and it provides our gym with a consistent programming template and weekly schedule.

We all know rest is important, but an obstacle to rest for many affiliates is accounting for programmed rest days while remaining open seven days per week (which is a practical and financial necessity for most gyms). The two most common solutions we’ve seen affiliates come up with include either offering seven days per week of novel programming, or running alternative, low-intensity programming on particular days—perhaps a skills class, Active Recovery, or just open gym time. We’ve also seen gyms simply close on Saturdays or Sundays, which creates a mandatory rest day for their populations. At CFSBK, our membership options and three-on/one-off, two-n/one-off template allow athletes to take up to five CrossFit group classes per week. We additionally provide various skill classes (yoga, Pilates, etc.) and open gym time. This allows us to offer seven days per week of attendance options without compromising our programming, and this precludes overzealous members from coming in every single day and training themselves into the ground.

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Monday
Mar092015

CrossFit Solace: Inside a Manhattan Gym

Basic Statistics

Affiliate name: CrossFit Solace

Location: 38 East 32nd Street, New York, NY

Year started: October 2014

Estimated number of members: 300 and growing

Square footage: 11,000 square-feet

Gym owner’s name/s: Tristan Keeffe, Jim Loperfido, and Chad McDonald

Number of full-time and part-time trainers: 16

ITA: Tell us the story about how your gym started. 

Tristan Keeffe: Jim and I initially met working out at EVF on the Upper East Side in 2012. We began discussing the idea of opening a CrossFit gym after investors showed interest in providing capital for Goattape, a company Jim was a major owner of. In January 2013, we set out in earnest to raise capital for our vision of what a CrossFit gym could truly be. 

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Friday
Feb272015

Will Lifting Make Me Bulky? Answers to Common CrossFit Questions


I've owned a CrossFit gym for almost eight years, which means I've fielded my fair share of questions, not just from my members but also from those who are curious about CrossFit. As I wrote in "Free Intro Classes at CrossFit Affiliates," we shouldn't be cynical or defensive when a woman yet again asks if she’ll get too bulky by lifting weights, or if a guy worries CrossFit is dangerous. Remember: they’re new to this stuff, and it’s on us to answer honestly and with empathy. If we want people to join our gyms, we should act like it. 

But now, maybe you can just direct the CrossFit Curious to this interview I did for The Homeopathoholic, a blog created by Liza Behles that is dedicated to exploring different types of exercise, diets, and health-related issues. Liza asked a bunch of common questions about CrossFit, and I hope my answers will be useful to you, whether you've never set foot in a gym, are just discovering CrossFit, or have been doing this for years and need help answering a friend's questions. We reposted the interview below, but you can also read the original on Liza's excellent blog.

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Monday
Feb092015

Turn Off the Clock: Why You Should Program Not For Time Work at CrossFit Gyms


In today’s article, we’re going to talk about how and why CFSBK regularly programs “Not For Time” (NFT) assistance work into our weekly group classes. The purpose of these segments is to supplement our primary lifts and conditioning tests, and also provide an opportunity to approach movements not typically seen in WODs and/or develop movements we typically see in timed formats.

Before getting into the details of NFT work, it’s worth noting what it is not. Our NFT assistance segments are not warm-ups and always happen after the primary lift for the day, usually instead of a traditional metcon. In a previous article, we talked about how we program standardized warm-ups, which unlike NFT work, require simpler movements that people can jump into cold or after some very basic movement prep. This is also not necessarily dedicated “skill work,” which would involve refining more complex motor patterns (such as taking 10 minutes to practice double unders or handstands). That being said, NFT does not exclude skill-based elements and they can easily be incorporated into NFT segments.

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